BYU polygamy Web page dumped

'Personal project' had sought to explain topic

The Salt Lake Tribune/February 6, 2007
By Brooke Adams

A Brigham Young University employee's attempt to offer an explanation of "Mormon polygamy" on the school's Web site proved short-lived.

Jim Engebretsen pulled a polygamy page he had posted at on Monday afternoon after being told it violated university policy.

Engebretsen did not have approval to place the "personal project" on the school's official Web site, said Carrie Jenkins, BYU spokeswoman.

But for at least three days, it appeared BYU might be tackling head-on a topic that has bedeviled its owner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose own Web site approaches the subject of polygamy with great care.

By Common Consent, a blog site that offers LDS news and commentary, announced Engebretsen's page Saturday under the headline, "BYU debuts a website devoted to Mormon polygamy."

At the page, visitors could read about the origins of polygamy in the LDS Church as well as current LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley's denouncement of its modern-day practice (the church abandoned plural marriage in 1890). The site offered scriptural references to polygamy, speeches on the topic by former LDS leaders and links to academic research on plural marriage.

Its approach was candid, to say the least.

Under the heading "Polygamy," it posed such questions as "Did Joseph Smith marry young girls?"

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